Where the cools kids will be »

October 15 — US Foreign Aid in the 21st Century: A View from Malawi

The average Americans thinks the US government spends as much as 30 percent of the federal budget on foreign aid. In fact poverty-focused aid is less than 1% of the federal budget. But what is used for? Is it effective? How could it be more effective?

Read the full story »

Politics »

Fourth Annual Indiana Civic Day

Saturday, February 7
10:45 am- 2:30 pm,

Indiana State House
North Atrium,
402 West Washington Street,
Indianapolis, IN

Says the Center for Inquiry:

To make sure that you are aware and informed about issues in Indiana so that you can be active in promoting your point of view, attend Indiana Civic Day on February 7 2015. This year we will focus on Advocating for Justice. See the schedule for the day.

We will also be discussing current bills in the Indiana General Assembly and encouraging you to visit with your legislators during the following week.

10:45-11:00 am

Pick up your name tag which is your ticket for the day and your box lunch if you ordered one.

10:55 am—Welcome—Reba Boyd Wooden, Executive Director, Center for Inquiry|Indiana

Reba Boyd WoodenReba Boyd Wooden is Executive Director of Center for Inquiry Indiana. She started Humanist Friendship Group of Central Indiana in 1999 which became Center for Inquiry Community of Indiana in 2005. The opening of Center for Inquiry Indiana was on April 1, 2007. The offices for CFI Indy are along the Indianapolis Downtown Canal Walk; 350 Canal Walk, Suite A. Reba has a BA from University of Indianapolis with a major in Social Studies Education and a minor in Business Education, an MS from Butler University in History/Education, and an MS in Counseling and Counselor Education from Indiana University. She retired after 37 years in public education in 2005. She spent her last 13 years as a high school guidance counselor and the previous years in the classroom. She has two children and seven grandchildren. She has officially hiked 8,000+ miles with Indianapolis Hiking Club. She writes the blog, Freethought from the Heartland.

11:00--Ron Lindsay, President and CEO of Center for Inquiry.

Ron LindsayRonald A. Lindsay, J.D., Ph.D. is president & CEO of the Center for Inquiry. He is by training and experience both a lawyer and a philosopher. An honors graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, he practiced for twenty-six years with the national law firm of Seyfarth Shaw LLP prior to joining the Center for Inquiry, where he has been president and CEO since June 2008. Ron received his Ph.D. from Georgetown University, specializing in bioethics. He has had articles published in peer-reviewed journals such as The Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, theKennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, and The American Journal of Bioethics. His first book, Future Bioethics: Overcoming Taboos, Myths, and Dogmas, was published by Prometheus Books in June 2008. He is also the author of the entry on “Euthanasia” for the prestigious International Encyclopedia of Ethics (Wiley Blackwell 2013). In discussing issues of concern to the secular community, he has appeared on CNN, Fox News, HuffPost Live, and numerous local television and radio stations, and he has provided commentary to the Washington Post, the New York Times, and many other newspapers and magazines.

11:40--Stephen Baines, Assistant Field Director for Religious Outreach, Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Steve Baines AU Americans United for Separation of Church and StateRev. Steven Baines is Director for Religious Outreach at Americans United for Separation of Church and State where he is responsible for the organization’s national engagement with and mobilization of people of faith. Before coming to Americans United, he served as Director of Interfaith Outreach at both the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and People For the American Way. He has also served as Executive Director for Equal Partners in Faith, a national interfaith organization committed to fighting racism, sexism and homophobia.

Rev. Baines has served as both senior pastor and associate ministers in Southern Baptist churches in North and South Carolina. Since 1999, he has been affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and is currently serving as the Moderator at the denomination’s national cathedral in Washington, DC, National City Christian Church. He has also held positions at that congregation as Chair of the Elders, Deacons and is a regular religious education scholar.

Rev. Baines is a national spokesperson and author on issues of faith and politics, religious liberty, church-state separation and has been featured debating leaders of the Religious Right and the so-called “ex-gay” movement on CNN, CSPAN, CCTV, Court TV and numerous syndicated talk radio shows.

12:20--Megan Robertson, Campaign Manager, Freedom Indiana

Megan Robertson FI Freedom IndianaMegan Robertson is a veteran political campaign operative who has been active in Indiana politics over the last decade. Most recently, Robertson served as the Campaign Manager for Freedom Indiana, a statewide bipartisan coalition that derailed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions as its supporters sought to pass it through the state legislature to send it to a ballot referendum.

Prior to the Freedom Indiana effort, Megan managed Luke Messer’s Congressional campaign, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s re-election campaign and served as the Political Director for Senator Dan Coats’ general election campaign. All three were winning campaigns.

In 2014, Megan was named to the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 and ranked 7th in the Howey Political Report’s Top 50 Most Influential People in Indiana Politics.

Megan is a graduate of Anderson University and an avid fan of the Chicago Bears.

1:00--Betty Cockrum, CEO, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky

Betty Cockrum PPIN Planned Parenthood Indiana and KentuckyBetty Cockrum became President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN) in July 2002 which was the fifth largest affiliate of 85 nationwide, serving more than 79,000 patients. In 2013, PPIN merged with Planned Parenthood of Kentucky and became Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK). Betty is President and CEO of PPINK.

Prior to joining Planned Parenthood of Indiana, Betty served nearly three decades in public service. Her last tour of duty was as State Budget Director. Positions prior to that include Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Administration, Director of Financial and Administrative Services with the Indiana Department of Commerce, and Bloomington City Controller.

1:40--Speaker from American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana

ACLU IN American Civil Liberties Union Indiana

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana will have a speaker present at the event.

The American Civil Liberties Union is our nation’s guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country. The ACLU of Indiana, headquartered in Indianapolis, is a statewide affiliate of the ACLU headquartered in New York, which was founded in 1920. Established in 1953 as the Indiana Civil Liberties Union (ICLU), the ACLU of Indiana adopted its current name in 2006. We bring cases against government entities to protect the rights of individuals and groups. The ACLU of Indiana is nonpartisan and does not endorse political candidates. A nonprofit membership organization, we do not receive public funds, tax dollars or government support. Our strength comes from more than 4,000 supporters whose private donations fund our free legal services and educational outreach, and whose annual membership dues support advocacy, organizing and lobbying activities to promote civil liberties.

3:00—Reception at Center for Inquiry-Indiana

Reception at Center for Inquiry-Indiana, 350 Canal Walk, Suite A. (Free but must make a reservation by February 2.)


INDYthinks about … how to end human trafficking

On November 4th, Provocate, INDYthinks and other groups will facilitate new and innovative partnerships to stop human trafficking at home and in other countries. Explore new ways to raise support for concrete projects helping victims of trafficking and preventing this sort of abuse all together. Brainstorm about how alternative spring breaks and short-term mission trips can have a uniquely positive impact. We’ll help connect those who are passionate about ending trafficking to volunteer and employment opportunities.

#UpReach: Effective Social Media Strategies

Extend your reach through social media. We will teach cutting-edge social media strategies to optimize your time using congregate services like HootSuite, ensuring your notifications are pushed to your followers, basic writing/image tips, and participating in our collective content calendar.

Free Online Tool Belt: Making Collaboration Easier

The Latino Youth Collective will offer instruction on the free Google Apps suite including Docs, Hangouts, and OnAir as well as free project/client management tools Asana and Creo.

Distinguished Speakers dinner with Dalitso Kubalasa

The October 15th ICWA Distinguished Speaker was Dalitso Kingsley Kubalasa, the executive director of the Malawi Economic Justice Network. 60+ people listened as Mr. Kubalasa discussed how recent changes in the way the US government delivers foreign aid has shaped development efforts on the ground in Malawi.

Erin Lang’s “1.8 million minutes”

On October 8, more than 300 people joined together at Butler University to show support for the family of Abdul Rahman Kassig and the cause that drove him to risk his life in Syria. Kassig set up a nonprofit in Syria to help the world’s worst refugee crisis. Provocatrix Erin Lang has set up Benga International to help provide education to the children of Syrian refugees. She was asked to kick off the event with thoughts about the issue that motivated Abdul Rahman Kassig.

Congratulations to Provocatrix Erin Lang!

One of the best conferences for international relations junkies is the World Affairs Councils of America’s National Conference in DC. A few scholarships are offered to exceptional college students who are nominated by local world affairs councils. For the first a scholarship winner is from Indiana, and she’s one of ours. Erin Lang is one of the founding members of INDYthinks, and a proud member of Team Provocate.

European events

The crisis in the Euro-zone, the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the boom and fragility of Central European economies, the future of Germany … these and other European topics will be discussed this fall.

Africa conversations

Learn about Africa, talk about Africa, listen to African music and eat African food. Meet Africans and friends of Africa.

IU Robert H McKinney law school

On the IUPUI campus, the McKinney Law School hosts talks by world-renowned legal scholars (many of them McKinney School faculty).

Talking with Fran Quigley this fall

Provocate is hosting the release of a new book by Fran Quigley on September 25 at the Athenaeum. But don’t panic if you miss this talk … Fran is talking several times this fall, and every talk will be worth attending.

Ann Katz Festival of Books & Arts

The JCC’s 16th annual Ann Katz Festival of Books & Arts is a three-week festival featuring local, national and international authors, filmmakers and performing and fine artists. This year’s Festival of Books is Tuesday, October 28 through Saturday, November 15, 2014.

talk @ the Hall

The Hall is the planning hub for Plan 2020. It’s where ideas connect. The Hall served as the Indianapolis City Hall from 1910 to 1962. In addition to housing Plan 2020, The Hall also provides meeting and gathering space for the public and a gallery of community-based initiatives.

Plan 2020 Friday Forums

Find out what’s happening in Indy. Every Friday at noon Plan 2020 will host a presentation highlighting community projects and initiatives taking place around Indianapolis. Friday Forums are an opportunity for Plan 2020 to reinforce and highlight what other plans have stated and worked towards. These initiatives will be integrated and vetted during Plan 2020’s planning process to create a comprehensive implementation strategy

[art] = 100 acres of equinox

To celebrate summer turning into fall, the IMA is taking it outdoors and offering art that goes beyond just the eyes. Sound collages, original music, kinetic sculptures, the smell of the trees and the taste of autumn in the air. And the smell and taste of food trucks. As is always the case, the turning of the seasons with the IMA is an experience that will not be replicated.

[dance] = Danish Punjabi + GHDT

September 20th ” Indian culture is alive in Indianapolis, Indiana. And everyone can experience it on Sept. 20. With music and dance, Christel House, and Anita Lerche and Gregory Hancock, will bring India’s vibrant culture to Indianapolis audiences.”

Social justice in September

How to get your transformational energies flowing in September? Get ready to be moral on Monday with a movie and a weekend of workshops. Embrace the cause of environmental justice. Fight hunger in Indy and around the world. And that’s just a start.

Why attend Domestic Decisions 2014?

Like hundreds of groups around the country, the Mid North Shepherds Center runs the Great Decisions series every spring. Eight issues of urgent important for foreign relations. The Mid North Shepherds Center is the only …

Karen Kovacik: why travel to “Distant Lands”

Karen K gives 5 reasons you should be at Indy Reads Books for a readers’ performance “Distant Lands,” of her translation of Polish poetry:

  1. One of the imaginary “poets” will be in swimwear.
  2. My colleague Ben Van Wyke does a hilarious “Schizus Christus.”
  3. How many ever met a poet named “Eros XL”?
  4. It’ll be a lot of fun!
  5. It will support Indy Reads!

Lisa Marchal’s 4×4 Report from the RESULTS International Conference in DC

Every year RESULTS (and its partner the RESULTS Educational Fund) organize an International Conference brings together more than 400 grassroots activists from around the world to advance anti-poverty efforts in the U.S. and globally. The conference is an opportunity for activists to hear from world-class speakers, get the most up-to-date legislative and policy information, and hone their advocacy skills in preparation for a day of Capitol Hill and World Bank advocacy.

The Right to Love Then and Now

Kathy Pataluch imagines a world where every person can marry the person they love.